I was 16 years old with two girls, at this point I know I was just existing, but although I knew that this was my life now, I needed an escape plan. In the meantime, I adjusted to being a mother and a partner and I tried to play my wifey duties well, I never complained as I had nowhere else to go. I hated my sexual duties as often I would feel as if he went toilet inside of me. I also felt suffocated, and worse the smell of alcohol always made me nauseous. Despite, motherhood his sexual needs were always a priority, I needed to be ready at all times, rejection was never an answer. I was the prisoner and he was the guard.
I never had my own money as I was too young, I had to ask him for what I needed. This is where the idea of using toilet paper for my monthly menstruation came in. I learnt to steal the toilet papers from public toilets to use as sanitary pads. Most of the time his money went on the horses and I learnt to do without. I recall not having any shoes and therefore I couldn’t visit the baby clinic. I grew matter-of-fact, and when the health visitor asked why I didn’t attend baby clinic? “I had no shoes” was my reply, After a while it was hard to feel anything emotionally so my feelings were suppressed. This was especially as I needed to survive for my children’s sake.
I was now alone in the country for around nine years and I was still very lonely, My weeks were filled with health visitors appointments as necessary. I learnt how to cook and was able to make basic stuff for my kids. I was his official bed partner and so the abuse continued. I never went to the police, because I was afraid of the police, and I suppose I didn’t want anyone to know. I never had visitors, and I never spoke about anyone so life continued day in and day out. I do recall when my eldest daughter started to walk, it became easier for me, although sometimes she would get tired and I would carry her along with the shopping, I often wander how no one ever came to my rescue or enquire how I was.
I must have have looked very young then, who knows maybe they thought I was the children’s sister. Their father was a fantastic gambler who hardly won on the horses, his favorite pastime was in the betting shop, and when he lost on the horses; you can guess what happened. I use to also be a gambler in my mind, as I prayed for those horses to win. One day he came home in an extremely bad mood, there was no food in the house. Being a mother guess what I did? I dared to ask for money. He started to punch me until I was black and blue. I did the unthinkable I took my baby daughter, well I grab her from the bed, and held her to stop the blows raining down on me, but he carried on punching. My daughters head hit the side of the door and the top of her slid skit open, she started to bleed. He was even more filled with rage and punched me in the face and stomach. It was my fault after all, I should not have picked her up, but how was I to know he would carry on hitting me. I was now crying hysterically my daughter was bleeding and it was all my fault. By now my tears were for her blood rather than my bruises. I was numb.
I was not allowed to take her to the hospital so I did what I could do stem the blood. Luckily she healed, my daughter still has the scar and at today’s date although she is now 34 years old. I feel a knot in my stomach for several reasons. 1) because I failed to protect her and 2) because I was a coward I had used her as a human shield.
I knew I had to escape but how? I had met a friend on the estate, well she was his friend he use to buy marijuana from her, she sold it to feed her children. She was a Rastafarian with three children two boys and a girl. We became friends and she thought she was doing me a favour, as she would tell him to stop beating me, but the beatings just got worse. He felt I was gossiping. I recall many times, I would put a bottle in his way in the hope he would kill me, as everyday he would hit me; and usually he would grab what he saw, just because he could. I’m convinced God was protecting over me those times.
He was certain I wouldn’t complain, that was because there was no one to complain to. I didn’t like him at all, but I guess after being abused so long, I conformed and accepted his behavior to try to keep. It was also a fact that I had nowhere else to go.
Mind you I still had my plan, it was time to put it in action.